Culture

20 Things You Have To Do When You Visit Costa Rica

If you are planning a visit to Costa Rica this summer or in the near future then you probably know that this green lush location has a lot to offer. But how should you make your decision on what to do when you get there? Here are 20 things you shouldn’t miss out on when you go.

1. Visit Arenal Volcano.

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No visit to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to Arenal Volcano, one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes. There you can go on a hike to La Fortuna waterfall, a famous stop within the national park.

2. Take a tour of the Venado Caves.

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If you do visit Arenal Volcano, make sure to do the 4-hour underground tour of the Venado Caves from La Fortuna. There you will get wet and sweaty as you crawl through the small spots.

3. Visit Manuel Antonio National Park.

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A rainforest surrounded by white-sand beaches. This is the perfect location to go hiking, experience wildlife, and lounge by a beach.

4. Go on a coffee tour because, duh.

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Costa Rica is famous for their delicious coffee, so if you visit, make sure to make some time for a coffee tour. El Toledo Coffee Tour is one of the many coffee tours that Costa Rica offers but is unique because it is one of the few farms that don’t use any chemicals on their plants.

5. Visit the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica.

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If you’re a performing arts fanatic make a stop to the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica. Here you can take a tour of the building inside and see the beautiful neoclassical designs of the building.

6. Visit the National Museum of Costa Rica.

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Located in the capital of San Jose, this building was originally a military barracks but is now being used as a museum. Definitely a must-see fortress.

7. Go to a butterfly garden tour.

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Costa Rica has a lot of wildlife, including butterflies. In Costa Rica you can find many butterfly tours and it is definitely worth an experience.

8. Go snorkeling in the beautiful water.

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Not only are their jungles amazing but their sea life is spectacular. So, make sure you make time for some snorkeling when you make your visit to Costa Rica.

9. Go zip-lining through the jungle.

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What better way to see the jungles in Costa Rica than zip-lining. You’ll be high above the trees and witness the most spectacular views.

10. Stay overnight at the Nature Observatorio.

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If you’ve ever imagined what it would be like to live like Tarzan, this would be your opportunity to experience it. In Manzanillo, Costa Rica, there is a treehouse in the middle of the jungle where you can stay overnight. Here you will be able to watch wildlife in its real habitat and listen to the sounds of nature as you fall asleep.

11. Go horseback riding along the beach.

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To get the best views you must also go horseback riding. Stroll through the beach and rainforest on a horse in a guided tour.

12. Dip into some of the hot springs and ease your woes.

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Costa Rica has many hot springs locations and it’s an experience like no other. The hot springs here are surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife.

13. For a thrill, visit a hanging bridge.

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One of the most amazing views you’ll get in Costa Rica is on top of a hanging bridge. Costa Rica even has a whole park dedicated to hanging bridges, Mistico Park. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity.

14. Water rafting will bring your family together for sure.

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If you’re an adrenaline junky then you’d probably enjoy some water rafting at La Fortuna. Luckily no previous experience of rafting is required to participate in this tour.

15. Go on an ATV tour.

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Speed through the jungle on an ATV riding through rugged mountain terrain and reaching a destination with an amazing view.

16. Bungee jump if you want to feel alive.

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If you want an even more adrenaline experience, Monteverde has the highest Bungee jump in Central America. Jump off a tram over the cloud forest.

17. Visit the Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

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If you’d like to learn more of the history of Costa Rica, don’t miss out on the Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

18. Visit the Rio Celeste Waterfall and experience awe-inspiring nature at her best.

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The beautiful blue water of this waterfall is the product of a chemical reaction between the minerals from the volcano and the rainforest. You’ll be amazed by this sight.

19. Why not try some deep sea fishing while you are there?

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Catch a fish by Los Suenos Marina, a marina in Costa Rica with a full-service port.

20. And, of course, you might as well try out surfing.

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Being a world class surfing destination, don’t miss out on the opportunity to surf on the Costa Rican coastline.

Colombia Is Calling Your Name But How Much Do You Actually Know About This Incredible South American Country?

Culture

Colombia Is Calling Your Name But How Much Do You Actually Know About This Incredible South American Country?

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Colombia has been a rising travel destination for several years now as more and more people realize it has so much to offer. From bustling cities full of life to snow-capped mountains and unrivaled jungle rainforests, Colombia is truly a destination worth exploring.

And before the Coronavirus pandemic halted the breaks on the travel industry, Colombia was quickly becoming a major appeal for travelers from all over the world. Just 10 years ago, Colombia received around 900,000 foreign visitors – last year that number stood at nearly 3 million!

Now, as many of us dream about our next vacation (which is likely months if not more than a year away…), we want to revisit some of our favorite travel hotspots and test your knowledge on South America’s top destinations.

The country has a bad rap – but safety has improved so much.

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Unfortunately, it appears that not everyone knows that Colombia is well and truly back on the map, and that for the most part it is a safe destination for visitors to South America.

The drug cartels, still very much present, tend to keep their violence off the streets and a truce between FARC and the government has largely been held in place. Still, you may hear stories and sure there are parts of the country you probably shouldn’t visit, but Colombia has overwhelmingly improved its security. Anthony Bourdain summed it up pretty perfectly:

“If you want to find bad people in Colombia, you can surely find them, as you could in New York or Los Angeles. But nowhere have my crew and I been treated better or with more kindness and generosity. I’d bring my family on vacation there in a heartbeat. And hope to soon. As I said before: Colombians are proud. Let them show you what they are proud of.”

Colombians sure love their fiestas – the country is home to four of the world’s largest parties.

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From the biggest salsa festival, theatre festival, outdoor horse parade to a flower parade, Colombia knows how to throw massive parties. Many of these events are scheduled well in advance so you can start looking for dates in 2021 and plan your trip accordingly!

Colombia is a major music-producing country – Maluma baby!

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Colombia has given us some pretty awesome people: hip-shaking Shakira, author Gabriel Garcia Marquez (who penned Love in the Time of Cholera) and actor John Leguizamo (of Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet fame – Google him, you’ll know) all call the country home.

Not to mention Juanes, Maluma, J Balvin, Karol G and so many others.

Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

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Ok, so the Pacific side isn’t all that much of a tourist destination yet – it lacks the sandy beaches known to the Caribbean side. But still, you get the best of both worlds with two different coastlines to choose from.

There are about 80 different regional languages spoken across Colombia.

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Spanish, like most of South America, is the official language of Colombia and you’ll get by in most of the country with it. But keep in mind if in smaller villages that it’s more than likely you’ll encounter Indigenous languages – many of which are in danger of extinction.

Aguardiente is the national drink.

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You’ll either love it or hate it but either way you’ll end up drinking tons of it. It’s cheap and mixes pretty well.

Capital Bogota has one of the biggest cycle path networks in the world.

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Bogota’s bike network is the largest network in the America’s and it actually carries more than 600,000 riders each and every day. That’s some serious ridership and is kind of surprising considering the city sits at an altitude of nearly 3,000 meters (or more than 8,000 feet).

Colombia is one of the most mega-diverse countries in the world.

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Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, after only Brazil which is 10 times its size, and one of only 17 “megadiverse” countries. It has the highest amount of species by area in the world, including more species of bird than all of Europe and North America combined.

Plastic surgery really is a thing.

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Having grown up in a society where butt implants were a thing the Kadarshians constantly denied, it was fascinating to see so many people openly displaying their ‘physical enhancements.’

According to some locals, the plastic surgery crazy may be thanks to the drug cartels – who allegedly like women to look a certain way. But one thing’s clear – plastic surgery is big business in Colombia with some tour companies actually changing their business model to do ‘surgery tourism’ from the U.S.!

Take Virtual Guided Tours Of Puerto Rico To Feel Like You Are On Vacation

Culture

Take Virtual Guided Tours Of Puerto Rico To Feel Like You Are On Vacation

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Wouldn’t a little vacation sound nice? Sure it would. However, it is not the best time to get onto a plane with too many surfaces to touch. Puerto Rico understands this issue and is going to be offering guided tours of the island to give people a virtual vacation from their couches.

Discover Puerto Rico wants you to join them for some 30-minute virtual tours of the Caribbean island.

Your Puerto Rico Moment: El Morro

It's National Travel and Tourism Week and imagination is the highest kite you can fly! It’s time for you to #TravelFromHome and build your own Puerto Rico moment from the comfort of your own 🏠. ✨ From bed sheets to curtains, we can’t wait to see you recreate your favorite spots on our island. 🇵🇷 Don’t forget to tag us on your photos and Stories! #DiscoverPuertoRico #AllinGoodTime #SpiritOfTravel #NTTW U.S. Travel Association

Posted by Discover Puerto Rico on Friday, May 1, 2020

This is a pioneering move by the Caribbean island. Puerto Rico is the first to offer live guided tours using Google Maps. It is an attempt to give people a break from their self-isolation realities and give them a chance to explore Puerto Rico.

It is an inventive way to get people thinking about travel once the COVID-19 pandemic starts to subside.

A recent study of American travel plans after COVID-19 shows a country of people too scared to travel after the virus is under control. About one-third (33 percent) of Americans surveyed said they would be willing to stay in a hotel three months after COVID-19 subsides. Only 28 percent of Americans are willing to get on a plane three months after the pandemic subsides.

“With nearly 73 percent of Americans saying they miss travel, we want to continue offering travelers ways to vacation virtually,” Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “Through these and other activations we’ve been offering, we’ve not only been able to keep Puerto Rico top of mind, reminding travelers of everything that will be waiting for them when the time is right to travel again, but it’s also given us the opportunity to highlight valued members of the local tourism industry.”

There are several tours that you can take through Discover Puerto Rico in the coming week.

It may look like a ✨ dream– because every place you visit in Puerto Rico will look dreamier than the one before. All in…

Posted by Discover Puerto Rico on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Discover Puerto Rico is using National Travel and Tourism Week as a chance to help all of us travel from home to escape the mundane routines of waking up in isolation and going to bed in isolation. Here are a couple of the tours available through Discover Puerto Rico.

On May 5, you can tour the natural beauty of Puerto Rico.

This tour will give you a chance to explore El Yunque, which is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Parks system. The tour will take you through the trails of some of the most beautiful and sought after hiking destinations.

On May 8, you can get a taste of Puerto Rico less traveled.

From Ponce to Gilligan’s Island, this virtual tour will offer you a look at the Puerto Rico you rarely see plastered on social media. These destinations are rarely the first places people would think about visiting when traveling to the island. The local guides provided for the tours will offer you some local insights into the places you are virtually exploring.

On May 13, you can kick back and enjoy a road trip across Puerto Rico.

Just sit back and enjoy some of the biggest and best landmarks on the island. The road trip will include seeing Castillo San Felipe de Morro, which we have all seen all kinds of photos of.

All fo the tours are available on the Discover Puerto Rico Facebook page at 5 p.m. EST.

READ: Going Stir Crazy In Quarantine? Then These Awesome Virtual Tours Will Help You Escape Without Ever Leaving Your House